Monday, May 26, 2008

Off Season

It's been an interesting learning experience in the month-and-a-half since I ran Umstead. Although I proved to myself I could complete a 100 mile race, I have been surprised by how much it has taken out of me, how long it has taken to recover.

So, I have decided to look at the spring of 2008 as my "off season." Time to rest and recharge the batteries. I was forced to take almost a month off running to let my achilles tendinitis recover. That's now at about 95%, so I am back to running. Easy running, though. Enjoyable, modest distances, modest pace. Solid recovery times between runs, either because I feel tired after a good run, or because my crazy spring field work schedule for work hasn't permitted daily running. It's a real change of pace to run only 3, maybe 4, days a week, and to be running less than 20 miles a week. But, it's been fun to run with Megan. Hopefully, this recovery period will let me run stronger for the second half of the year.

I tend to do better when I have goals and figure this is the perfect time to refocus on the ones I set at the start of the year. I accomplished the big one for the year, a 100 miler. I have two other ultras planned, 50 milers. One is the Cheat Mountain night run in August, which I'm using to get back in ultra shape, something to do slow and for fun with a contingent of fellow TrailDawgs. A slow buildup of mileage and intensity of training through the summer should get me get ready for that race. The other is the goal race, the JFK in November -- I really want to break 10 hours and plan to train hard for it.

I also had set a sub-4-hour marathon as a goal. I doubt this will happen at world famous Stumpy's Marathon ("Delaware's Longest Running Marathon") so think I'll target Steamtown for that. This means the summer will need to include some speed training, probably a mile repeat workout every other week. Maybe I can get my 5K time under 23 minutes as I train for this (another goal)?

And, the real trick will be to stay uninjured while doing this. My achilles heel could be -- well -- my achilles heel for this plan. It is still a bit tight and swollen, though not painful. I am hoping that a gradual training buildup while doing yoga will help in getting back in good shape without injury.

Well, got to run...

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